Our top 3 takeaways from the latest Appcast benchmark report

Our friends at Appcast recently published their latest Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report, the first of 2021, and we immediately went to work scouring their latest data.  As always, there were findings that caught our attention and got us chatting with our team and clients, so we are excited to share those insights with you!

#1 – The percentage of job seekers not applying continues to increase

This is the main metric we study at Dalia every time Appcast publishes its report, and it’s an important one.  Because Appcast tracks both clicks and applies, it’s easy math to calculate the percentage of job seekers who click to view a job but don’t apply.  The latest dropoff rate is 94.4%, which is up from 93.3% in the 2020 mid-year report.

What to do about candidate dropoff

With fewer job seekers applying, costs across the board (for paid clicks, applications and hires) are increasing.  This means employers are getting less for the same advertising budget.  Historically, employers have tackled this by optimizing their apply processes to decrease the number of steps and make it easier to apply.  But, because this metric continues to worsen, it’s also important that employers think about and address dropoff rate by engaging with job seekers outside of just the normal apply and talent network signup processes.  What options are you giving job seekers to stay engaged with your brand beyond an apply button?

#2 – Unemployment rate and apply rate are no longer moving together

This is a big one, because historically, apply rates have gone up when unemployment goes up, and have gone down when unemployment was lower.  However, with some industries being heavily affected by COVID-19, plus special unemployment programs at the federal and state levels, some employees were less able or ready to return to work.  Thus, even though unemployment rates have been higher, apply rates have not matched that pace.  And, during the same period, cost-per-click (CPC) grew at 2x the rate of applications.

What to do about apply rates not following unemployment

The dynamic described above means greater competition amongst employers for a candidate pool that is being more selective about job changes and is applying less.  The data is clear – some employers are trying to buy their way out of the situation with higher CPCs, but that’s not sustainable forever and is not an option for many employers.  We recommend building a talent pipeline from the job seeker traffic already coming to your website, whether paid or organic.  Investing in candidate engagement and the long-term feature set of your career site is an alternative to the current increased spending in job seeker clicks.

#3 – Mobile apply rate increased dramatically

We knew this day would come, and it finally did – after years of speaking about a “mobile first” mindset and the percentage of job seekers using mobile devices, the percentage of applications on mobile finally overtook desktop in the latest Appcast study.  Also, while desktop apply rate fell, mobile increased dramatically – more than a 20 percent increase over the year before.  We regularly hear from job seekers using Dalia that they only have a mobile device, making engagement on mobile even more important now when it’s some job seekers’ only option.

What to do about the increase in mobile applications

Embrace it!  Continue testing your application process on mobile and think about how some traditional steps in the apply process – such as creating an account or uploading a resume – are especially difficult on mobile devices.  Also, talk to your job seekers in the interview process to get their take on your application flow and where it could be better.  Lastly, review and invest in recruiting technology that prioritizes mobile and engages job seekers well on mobile through optimized processes and more mobile-first communication channels like SMS.

About Dalia and how we can help

The Appcast Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report is an excellent recap of what’s going on with candidate experience across industries, and we appreciate their work on it!  At Dalia, we are committed to helping job seekers stay connected to the brands they care about, while helping employers hire more efficiently by removing friction points in the process.  We focus on giving job seekers an easy way to express interest outside of clicking apply, which improves conversion rates, increases job advertising ROI and develops a pipeline of engaged, qualified candidates.  If you’re interested in digging deeper into the Appcast data and how we can help, please get in touch!

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